Kate the Bride:
We tied the knot in March last year in a relaxed, stylish wedding day with pretty, modern touches. Shaun and I had been together for a long time, so after getting engaged over the Easter weekend the year before in Southwold, Suffolk (a special family place), we wanted to go ahead with the big day as soon as possible. The only thing was, we had no idea what kind of wedding we would like. After a few months of researching and spending hours on the internet we shortlisted some to visit.
We found Houchins
in Essex by chance. We were having a quiet weekend at home and I noticed there was a wedding fair on in North Essex. We popped along, thinking it might be fun. Must have been fate: Houchins was the perfect venue for us... set in lovely peaceful countryside,
it was an ideal mixture of old and modern. The beautiful Flemish-style farmhouse where the Wedding Party stayed, dated from the 16th century. The spacious wedding barn was contemporary with simple elegant design to which we could put our own touches. We lit the ceremony room with large hurricane vases with pillar candles and fairy lights to create a romantic, intimate ambiance. For the whole wedding, we stuck to pretty romantic blush tones with pale pink and ivory roses and ranunculi, stocks and eucalyptus leaves. Our florist made beautiful upside down bouquets of spring flowers to hang from the chairs. It was Easter weekend, so for the place settings, we made little cones of rose gold mini easter eggs tied with grey ribbons (production line at Mum and Dad’s house a few days before!)
We’ll never forget the ceremony. it was simultaneously very serious and yet light-hearted. We couldn’t stop smiling, as we were so happy to make our commitment in front of family and friends. I walked down the aisle to ‘the Open road’, by Posiljonen.... Just a beautiful piece of music. The bells in it made it even more perfect for a wedding.
We took a lot of time choosing the readings: “comfort” by Frank Labaty and “it is here” by Harold Pinter, read by my older brother and Shaun’s sister. They really resonated with us and were both very special moments in the service.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather. Who’s lucky enough to have a storm named after them in honour of their Wedding day? Storm Katie had been whipping up some wind and rain but the sun came out just as we walked down the aisle and guests were able to sip the reception drinks outside in the sunshine amongst the Spring blossom and daffodils. I was so happy we were able to use the gorgeous grounds and gardens as we had an Easter egg hunt to entertain the children.
Following canapés and Prosecco, Heathcote and Hare provided a delicious three course meal with a selection of Italian antipasti, pan-fried chicken main with fondant potato and a duo of tempting desserts, including our fave Sticky toffee pudding! The catering team were super- efficient and helpful.
For the toasts, it had to be adnam’s Fizz to remind us of our engagement and other happy times in Southwold.
From the moment I walked into the gorgeous vintage-style Halfpenny
boutique in Bloomsbury, London, I felt so excited and fell in love with so many of Kate’s dresses! I had been admiring many of Kate’s dresses online for weeks. Mum and I had such a fun day visiting bridal stores in London. Halfpenny was our last visit and the icing on the cake. Isobel was so welcoming, friendly and calming. Trying on dresses can be a nerve-wracking experience, but she really put me at ease. The whole experience from start to Finish was absolutely perfect. I felt so looked after and choosing my dress felt very special and personal. I loved the whole process and can’t praise Kate Halfpenny and her team enough.
In the end I was totally torn between the dresses Iris and Esme. I really couldn’t decide! But, at the last minute and second (maybe third!) try-on, I decided on the beautiful Esme. It definitely had the edge for me and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It felt like the perfect dress for me. So elegant and timeless with a modern edge. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I fell in love with the embroidered organza oral overlay and low back, just perfect. It was a dream come true. I chose a long Halfpenny London veil to match.
I was after some shoes that I would wear again. I found some Jimmy Choo
off white patent high courts (with a little money off in the January sales!). They were perfect with the dress and I like any excuse to wear them again, so they’ll be worn on our first wedding anniversary.
When else do you have the chance to wear pretty flowers in your hair?
Always loved the romantic look of flower crowns and my florist did an amazing job, exactly as briefed. Fresh cream bombastic roses entwined with eucalyptus to match my pretty bouquet of roses and ranunculus in blush shades with greenery and smaller versions for my bridesmaids. I was delighted when they were delivered to the farmhouse where I was getting ready.
My talented hair and makeup artist Olivia Ferrer, created loose romantic waves in my hair and pretty soft makeup. Both complemented the flowers in my hair. We had smiles and giggles getting ready together, Mum and the girls cracked open the bubbly and the fun began.
Shaun wanted to stay very classic and decided on a 3 piece navy suit. Crisp white shirt and navy silk knitted tie from Hugo Boss.
Wedding Party Fashion
My two best friends looked absolutely gorgeous in their bridesmaid dresses by Coast
in subtle shades of blush pink and mauve with flowers in their hair that matched my flower crown. The multiway maxi dresses could be worn and styled differently as they wished, I wanted them to feel comfortable on the day, and wow...they looked amazing. They wore pretty Monica Vinader
rose gold necklaces that I gifted to them before the ceremony. The groomsmen, ushers and father of the bride all wore simple slim-fit navy suits with matching polka dot knitted ties and buttonholes of cream roses and eucalyptus. All very dapper, indeed!
We had a fantastic band, called Party Up Band. We loved them! they sounded incredible, created a real buzz and got everyone dancing. I coudn’t get off the dance oor. What a perfect way to end an amazing day.
With a keen interest in photography myself and working for a magazine, I know what makes a great image. I first came across Mary-anne’s
photography on this blog! I was drawn in by her beautiful “golden hour” shots. What can we say, apart from the fact that Mary-anne is absolutely amazing. Book her! We were so lucky to have found such a talented photographer to shoot our wedding day. She captured effortlessly so many special moments from our day that we will cherish forever. The day went by so quickly and in a very happy and excited blur for us - like a dream, but we now have the most beautiful collection of images to remember the day forever. From artistic romantic shots to funny and cheeky shots of our guests, everything was covered. Mary-anne’s photography really captured the joy and happiness on the day.
Mary-anne was a delight to have around on the day, snapping away unobtrusively with a smile on her face. a highly creative and inspiring photographer who works with such enthusiasm. Her images are really special.
Rosie was also a dream to work with. It’s hard to find the right supplier to suit your individual style and preferences. There are so many out there to choose from but after lots of research, you have to go with your instinct. again, I was drawn in by one particular wedding on a blog which showcased Rosie’s beautiful floral designs, completely different colour schemes to what I envisged for my wedding, but I could tell she was so talented. Rosie created a beautiful selection of ceremony flowers in blush and creams tones, with lots of pale green foliage. Our dining tables were dressed with a selection of cut-glass vases filled with gorgeous blush pink roses and ranunculus, cream and white stocks and a variety of greens. There were 3 vases per table – all different sizes – interspersed with candles, which created a gorgeously romantic table scape. Our upside down pew end arrangements looked so pretty. I wanted to fill the whole venue with flowers so I decided on a floral table plan design. Rosie filled 10 vases with more beautiful flowers for the table plan at the entrance to the dining area. Rosie did the most amazing job on the day, I can’t recommend her enough.
I chose a letter pressed wedding invitation by Tankerville Press as I loved her hand-drawn personal calligraphy. They were beautifully made and perfect for our style of wedding.
I created a logo myself using the calligraphy to create my final invitation bundles. I designed and printed all our on the day stationery, such as menus, order of service, order of the day, table plan, table numbers etc.
I wanted a modern and minimal wedding cake. Choosing one flavour was tricky, so we opted for 3 layers of butter frosted cakes. One tier: Victoria sponge. One: lemon and One: chocolate. it looked and tasted amazing. We also had a 3 layer cheese selection cake with many of our favourite cheeses for the evening.
In the end we only had 6 months from booking the date and venue to organise the whole wedding, it can be done with good organisation and determination. Enjoy every second of the day, it really does go by in a flash!